I have lots of friends having babies at the moment and one friend asked me the other day what she really needs for her new arrival. She is moving house a few months after the baby is born and doesn’t want to set everything up only to take it all down when she moved. This got me thinking about what you really need and what your baby really needs. I have put together a list of my must haves.
– a good cot, your baby is going to be sleeping in there for a few years and you need it to last the distance. We opted for more expensive cots that could be made into toddler beds when the time comes. The boys room isn’t all that big so it will be difficult to fit two single beds in there so they will be in their cots for a while, at least until we can move some other furniture out of there.
-a change table at a good height for you. I was told when I was pregnant that I didn’t really need a change table. Thankfully we didn’t listen to that piece of advice and got one. You spend a lot of time standing changing nappies, clothes and nappies again and it is much nicer on your back if you don’t have to bend over to do it.
– cheap, easy to clean highchair. We have two Ikea highchairs and you obviously don’t need them straight away but when the time is right they are by far the easiest chairs to clean. Once the trays come off they also stack nicely which is a great space saver. There are so many fancy highchairs with a padded, reclined seat but once your baby starts feeding themselves they just get way too messy! Another good thing about the Ikea ones is that if they are really filthy then you can take them outside and hose them off!
– bouncers. Unfortunately it is extremely hard to carry two babies no matter what age they are so we made sure we had bouncers from when they came home. Even with one baby I think a bouncer would be a fantastic investment. We only had cheap ones that had a toy bar and a vibrating music maker and I am still using them at 9 months. I use them to help get me set up for tandem nursing the boys too but even if you don’t use them for that they are invaluable. If you have two crying, upset babies putting them both in the bouncers and bouncing them both is by far the easiest way to settle them if it’s just you.
– lots of wondersuits. When babies are little it is often much easier to dress them in a romper/all-in-one/bodysuit. You don’t have to worry about their shirts coming untucked and their back/bellies getting cold. Most of them are easy to do up and they stretch so are easy to get on and off.
– plenty of square cloth nappies to use as spew rags. I could not believe how much the boys spewed and they weren’t reflux babies at all. Plus there is two of them. We used white squares as nappies and coloured squares as spew rags.
– if you are breastfeeding a few good nursing singlets. Until your milk comes in and settles again you may find that it is too uncomfortable to wear nursing bras. Most singlets have enough support in them to be comfortable. Also don’t get fitted for a nursing bra until at least 6 weeks. For most women their breast settle down to a more reasonable size after the 6 week mark so if you get fitted before then you are likely to need a different size in a few weeks.
– a play mat that bub can lie under and have things dangling above them. It doesn’t have to be a fancy one or anything just something that can keep them entertained while you shower/brush teeth/ brush hair/feel human.
– swaddle wraps. Our boys loved being swaddled but always wanted their arms up which meant they would unwrap themselves and wake up with a fright. We used love to swaddle bags and the boys loved them. Their hands were up but there was no way for them to get out. We used them until the boys were about four months and then graduated to a normal sleeping bag at night and blankets during the day.
-finally a good pram. You want one that will last the distance but isn’t too pricy. We made sure that it would fit in the boot of our car because we have a smaller car. We also decided not to get a side by side because of the width but they are usually lighter and easier to set up and take down again. We have a Strider Plus and love it! The newer compact looks fantastic as well, it can actually take two capsules and it not as wide as the plus.
I think that is my completed list. If anyone has any other suggestions feel free to add them to the comments.